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Archive for June, 2011

Let’s go beyond tax amnesty and harness diaspora potential

Posted by Administrator on June 30, 2011

A member of the Rwandan diaspora wears a T-shirt bearing a portrait of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame during a demonstration in Geneva. Kenyans in the diaspora have been granted a tax amnesty if they declare income and file tax returns, a move that analysts say could work in the reverse and fail to lure their investments. AFP photo

A member of the Rwandan diaspora wears a T-shirt bearing a portrait of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame during a demonstration in Geneva. Kenyans in the diaspora have been granted a tax amnesty if they declare income and file tax returns, a move that analysts say could work in the reverse and fail to lure their investments. AFP photo

The Finance Minister declared a generous amnesty to the Kenyan Diaspora for any year of income ending on or before 31 December 2010.  The amnesty covers taxes due, penalties and interest on condition that the income for the year 2010 is declared and returns and accounts for the same period are filed no later than 30 June 2011.

The amnesty means well, and the minister hopes it will translate into higher remittances from the diaspora.  He noted that a number of Kenyans have shied away from remitting funds for investment in Kenya because of the requirement to declare income and file returns in Kenya.

The Kenyan diaspora’s contribution to the Kenyan economy is well acknowledged.  In my view, the government has to think long and harder how to leverage the diaspora phenomenon.

That Kenya has a large diaspora did not happen by design.  The political crackdown of the 80’s and severe economic decline of the 90’s seem to have been the main cause.  Interestingly, it is only in the last 10 years that remittances from abroad have grown tremendously.

It would appear to have been an endorsement of the new government that took over from 2003.  There were no incentives whatsoever directly provided by the government.  It was a natural consequence of having a more palatable government in power.
Based on the foregoing, it can then be argued that there are certain softer issues that encourage the diaspora to invest back at home.  The political and economic climate must be right.

The government has to go beyond a tax amnesty in order to work out a package that would harness the enormous potential that the diaspora presents.  We have to look at the Kenyan diaspora in the same way as are foreign investors.  The government has gone a long way to wooing foreign investors with a raft of incentives.  A tax amnesty is not a good starting point.

You see, an amnesty comes with some negative connotations.  It implies, firstly, that the beneficiaries of the amnesty have been evading taxes and the government is giving them opportunity to come clean.

Secondly, and naturally, after an amnesty comes the cracking of the whip.  So what happens to those who do not partake of the amnesty? Are we not causing panic with the amnesty?

In the same Budget Speech, Minister Uhuru Kenyatta averred that our VAT law is not modern and in keeping with best practice.  I wonder what he thinks of our Income Tax law.  Lifted directly from the EAC Income Tax Management Act of 1973, no amount of amendments will bring it in line with modern economic and business trends.

Our commercial and revenue laws have to be modernised to become relevant to present day changes in global and cross-border trade, manpower mobility, technological innovations.

Apart from the migration of the 80s and 90s, more and more Kenyans are finding employment in the rest of Africa.  This has happened in two ways:  either the spread of Kenyan businesses across the continent or a number of foreign multinationals that hubbed their operations in south Africa, middle east or Europe are increasingly making Kenya the hub for their Africa and even middle east operations.

This in turn means those Kenyan entities are increasingly dispatching Kenyans to those other African countries that they oversee.
The above phenomenon is good for Kenya as it helps address the perennial unemployment problem.  The president is on record urging Kenyans to seek job opportunities abroad.  Secondly, as Kenya becomes the corporate regional headquarters for more companies, this attracts other investments, visitors as well as enhancing the opportunity to also become a financial centre.
Kenya citizens are liable to pay taxes in Kenya if they are technically resident in Kenya.  The Income tax Act has a very aggressive definition of when a Kenyan citizen is resident in Kenya for tax purposes.  If one has a permanent home in Kenya, and in a particular year was present in Kenya for any period of time, then for tax purposes, that person is deemed to be resident for that full year.

Resident

Kenyan courts, in interpreting that definition have also taken a very aggressive stance.  For instance, presence in Kenya would include over-flying the Kenyan airspace.  One is deemed to have a permanent home in Kenya if he was born in Kenya and there is no need to demonstrate the possession or presence of a physical home.

Such an aggressive stance fails to recognise there are two types of Kenyan Diasporas.  Foremost, there are Kenyans who relocated from Kenya without the intention to return.  They have taken up residence and even citizenship in other countries.
Secondly, there are Kenyans who left temporarily for employment reasons – either a foreign job or a secondment to another country.  Thus our tax laws need to recognise the above scenario.

Kenyans who are not “ordinarily resident” in Kenya are essentially like foreigners who come to tour Kenya.  To demand that they pay taxes would be akin to asking tourists and foreign investors coming to Kenya to pay income tax.

As Kenya becomes more economical and politically mature, a number of the Kenyan diasporas have invested heavily in Kenya and are considering permanently relocating to Kenya.  If they return then they will become “ordinarily resident” in Kenya and will pay their taxes.

Until then, any attempt to loop them into the tax net might be a huge disincentive to invest and return to Kenya.  Clearly no one would wish to return to Kenya permanently or on short visit, if there is a risk of trouble with KRA.

Kisuu is the Regional Tax Partner for PKF Eastern Africa.  The views expressed herein are personal and do not necessarily represent the firm’s view.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Opinion+++Analysis/Lets+go+beyond+tax+amnesty+and+harness+diaspora+potential/-/539548/1191602/-/icfs46/-/index.html

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Posted in Diaspora News | 3 Comments »

For Kenyan girl, tumour and trauma go in India

Posted by Administrator on June 30, 2011

SUFFERING NO MORE: Kenyan girl Vincencia (17) is all smiles at a press conference at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, where she was successfully operated upon for removal of an 11-kg tumour from her liver. With her is her uncle Martin. Photo: G. Ramakrishna

SUFFERING NO MORE: Kenyan girl Vincencia (17) is all smiles at a press conference at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, where she was successfully operated upon for removal of an 11-kg tumour from her liver. With her is her uncle Martin. Photo: G. Ramakrishna

Seventeen-year-old Vincenia will no longer have to grapple with sickness, caused by an abnormal growth of the abdomen, and taunts from schoolmates in her country, Kenya. She is happy to go back home, thanks to surgeons at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG) here, who removed an 11-kg tumour, which bothered her for three years.

The lone child of single mother Lilian, Vincenia had been living with her in Nairobi. She was like any other lively school-going teenager, and was keen on becoming a doctor. But her mother died when she was 12. Since then, her maternal uncle and aunt, Martin and Beatrice, had become her guardians. But even as the girl was coming to grips with the loss of her mother, another problem cropped up — her abdomen started growing abnormally, hampering her physical movements and affecting studies.

Even as she faced taunts everyday from schoolmates, who ascribed her bloated abdomen to pregnancy, a routine scan diagnosed it to be a tumour. After visits to medical centres in Kenya, blood tests, scans, three biopsies and an aborted attempt at surgery, her guardians, through the help of the media, publicised her plight and mobilised funds to bring her here. A doctor at a reputed hospital in Nairobi advised them to take her to the AIG. Following her admission to the institute three weeks ago, investigations showed the presence of the large tumour in the liver. Not only that, it was occupying the entire abdomen and pushing the intestines to a corner.

On June 16, a team led by Dr. G.V. Rao conducted the surgery which lasted almost four hours. AIG chairman D. Nageshwar Reddy lauded the team for performing a “surgical miracle.”

At a press conference on Thursday, Dr. Rao said the enormous size of the tumour, its vascular nature and the likely complications arising from bleeding were the main challenges. He said every possible technology was used to minimise blood loss.

Although the girl lost 13 litres of blood during the procedure, it was sucked by a Cell Saver System, cleansed and transfused back to the patient. Additionally 18 units of packed cells and 22 units of blood products were transfused to normalise the blood volume, even as an anaesthetic team closely monitored her blood pressure and cardiac output during the operation.

Vincenia, who is leaving for Nairobi via Mumbai, said she was happy to return home and would immediately go back to school.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/article2148343.ece

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Mother-in-law sends worst email ever to bride: forgivable?

Posted by Administrator on June 30, 2011

Heidi Withers and Freddie Bourne in happier days, before the great mother-in-law email debacle. (photo courtesy of The Telegraph)

Heidi Withers and Freddie Bourne in happier days, before the great mother-in-law email debacle. (photo courtesy of The Telegraph)

New term: mom-zilla. We know all about temporary bridal insanity, and theunderreported groom version, but in some families, it’s the parents who are seized by irrational wedding meltdowns.

Last month, 60-year-old British florist and total mom-zilla, Carolyn Bourne attacked. After her stepson’s bride-to-be, Heidi Withers, was a guest in her house she had a thing or two to teach her before she entered the Bourne family.

So Bourne sent the 29-year-old a soul-crushing email. The subject line: “Your lack of manners.” The bullet points for the bride, in paraphrase: her wedding is going to be tacky, she’s too picky of an eater, her sense of humor sucks, and her stepson is making a dreadful choice in marrying her. And one more thing: her out-of-work parents are cheap.

When Withers received the email (Bourne sent it three times to be sure) she did what anyone would do: she forwarded it to a few friends to share in the shock. What was the alternative —respond with a ‘frowny’ face? But instead of simply offering advice, some anonymous friend got pro-active and forwarded Bourne’s e-attack, launching a viral sensation in a matter of hours. Now everyone in the Western Hemisphere has laid eyes on Bourne’s email.

In a way, it’s the ultimate revenge on a mother-in-law who needed to be put in her place after such power-mongering. But it’s not going to make for smooth wedding. Bourne has been labeled the mother-in-law from hell by media outlets and Withers’ father Alan has fueled the fire  by publicly calling Bourne “Miss fancy pants.” Now parents on both sides of the couple are fueding and nobody’s manners are in check. Suggestion for Heidi and Freddie, her groom: elope.

Bourne has told London’s Telegraph she still plans to attend the wedding, but will maintain a “dignified silence.” She may know about English etiquette but she’s clueless about the cardinal rule of the Internet: never send an email you don’t want the world to see.  You almost have to feel bad for the lady, mom-zilla or not. That is, until you read the actual email she sent Withers. Here’s an excerpt:

from: Carolyn Bourne
to: heidi withers
subject: your lack of manners

Here are a few examples of your lack of manners:

When you are a guest in another’s house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat – unless you are positively allergic to something.

You do not remark that you do not have enough food.

You do not start before everyone else.

You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.

When a guest in another’s house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early – you fall in line with house norms.

You should never ever insult the family you are about to join at any time and most definitely not in public. I gather you passed this off as a joke but the reaction in the pub was one of shock, not laughter.

You regularly draw attention to yourself. Perhaps you should ask yourself why. No one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity style behaviour.

I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. (There is nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters’ marriages.)

If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes.

One could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man. I pity Freddie.

Ouch. There’s no denying it’s harsh, but if you’ve ever been in the line of fire in a wedding party, you know marriage anxieties strike darkness in the hearts of man. What do you think: Is this mom’s email forgivable?

Source: http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/mother-in-law-sends-worst-email-ever-to-bride-forgivable-2504517

Posted in World News | 1 Comment »

The woman who refused to go quietly

Posted by Administrator on June 30, 2011

Photo/FILE A lady prepares her HIV medicine.

Photo/FILE A lady prepares her HIV medicine.

Last year, while on a field tour in Nyeri to find out how the programmes we have there were faring, I came across *Hannah, one of the beneficiaries of our programmes.

I found her helplessly lying on a makeshift bed, on a floor in which were scattered maize cobs, which seemed to have been there for a long time.

She was unable to talk, since she had lost her voice, and I had to rely on her caregiver who, because of distance, visited her only twice a week.

One of her relatives filled me in, telling me that Hannah had spent most of her life working to ensure that her poor family was well taken of.

Hannah, the firstborn in her big family, had even postponed marriage until all her siblings had completed college. Unfortunately, her fiancé was diagnosed with tuberculosis some time back, and soon after that, HIV.

Shortly afterwards, the love of Hannah’s life died, leaving her heartbroken. It was during his burial that Hannah gathered courage to go for an HIV test.

The test turned out positive. Unable to handle the news, a devastated Hannah broke down and within a short time, she was too weak to work or do anything for herself.

Defeated, she packed her clothes, moved out of her rented house in Nairobi, and moved back to her rural home, where, quoting her, she would die quietly.

Soon after this, she lost her voice. By the time I visited her, she had lost so much weight that it was hard to believe she was the elegant-looking woman in the photos that one of her sisters showed me.

Frankly, I did no know what to offer Hannah. The least I could do for her was to have her transported to our Nairobi rescue centre for better care and physiotherapy.

Not that this was the silver bullet that she needed to get her life back, but I did not know what else to offer. I knew that there was so much expectation from her relatives, who hoped that somehow, I would make her situation better.

She was so wasted, I was convinced that she was staring death in the face. But to cover the shame of failure that I faced, I had her brought to Nairobi.

For the millionth time, I contemplated closing down the care programmes and focusing on something else. Something else that would indicate we were doing something, since all our efforts seem to be hitting a brick wall.

I wanted something that would never bring me face-to-face with another Hannah again.

I was traumatised by the looming prospect of losing Hannah, who was in her mid-forties and who would never enjoy the happiness of being a mother, thanks to the Aids-related complications which threatened to snuff out her life.

Anyway, the following day, Hannah was brought to our Nairobi rescue centre and, as usual, our caregivers gave her their best during the time she stayed here.

Personally, I had no hope and knew that only a miracle would bring Hannah back on her feet again. All the same, I visited the rescue centre a few days later to give Hannah some fruit juice.

I left for Sudan just as Hannah was beginning to recover, although I did not know that until much later. Finally, she left for her Nyeri home, healthy, positive, and looking forward to a bright future.

I was pleasantly surprised the other day when she submitted a request for money to start an income-generating activity. As I write this, Hannah is doing well, tending to her patch of land where all sorts of vegetables grow.

Her energy is back, and she never misses a group therapy. Hannah proved to us, and especially to me, that there is no hopeless situation.

This is the diary of Asunta Wagura, a mother of three who tested HIV-positive 24 years ago. She is the executive director of the Kenya Network of Women with Aids (KENWA).


asuntawagura@hotmail.com

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Sacking made me a millionaire

Posted by Administrator on June 30, 2011

Photo/GEOFFREY RONO Farmer Sammy Tanui at his poultry shed feeding his 300 layers and collecting eggs.

Photo/GEOFFREY RONO Farmer Sammy Tanui at his poultry shed feeding his 300 layers and collecting eggs.

When he was dismissed as a driver with a book-publishing firm nine years ago, 49-year-old Sammy Tanui thought his life had come to an end.

To make matters worse, the sacking came hot on the heels of a three-month unpaid leave which he had asked for to attend to a domestic problem.

“After the initial shock, I collected myself and with the Sh200,000 that I had saved, I put a down payment for a Toyota pick-up and ventured into the dairy business,” says the father-of-three.

The business involved buying milk from farmers in Bomet and selling it to milk bars and hotels in Narok town and its environs.

The business, he says, paid well and enabled him to clear the outstanding balance for the vehicle, which he had bought on credit.

“To maximise profits, I opened a milk bar and restaurant called Carsam in Bomet town,” says the businessman, adding that his wife Caroline runs the venture.

The milk business lasted two years before his licence was cancelled by the Dairy Board of Kenya on claims that he had not paid cess amounting to Sh67,000.

Even though he won the subsequent court case, he did not go back to the business. “When one door closes, God opens another. Owing to links I had made when supplying milk to hotels, I ventured into the charcoal business,” says the born-again Christian, adding that the business earns him an average of Sh40,000 in profit a month, much more than he earned as a driver.

In 2008, he tried his hand at poultry farming, an avenue which he says now brings him good returns. “The 300 layers give me an average of 270 eggs a day, which translates to Sh2,000 daily or Sh75,000 a month,” says Mr Tanui.

Demand for eggs in the growing town and neighbouring urban centres has been overwhelming, prompting the trader to order for an additional 300 layers from Kenchic.

So what are the challenges?

“Poultry feeds are expensive and not within the reach of many farmers. For instance, a 70kg bag of layers’ marsh currently goes for Sh2,600, up from the previous price of Sh840,” says Mr Tanui.

The trader-cum-farmer has also taken advantage of greenhouse technology to grow tomatoes. He now has more than 1,200 plants in his facility.

He spent Sh150,000 to construct his greenhouse and buy seeds and now earns more than Sh40,000 a month from the sale of tomatoes. His ventures bring in almost Sh200,000 a month.

Mr Tanui asks officials from the ministries of Agriculture and Livestock Development to visit farmers in order to help them acquire skills to improve their income.

Bomet district agricultural officer Josphat Kioko praised the farmer for maximising production on his small piece of land and asked other farmers to follow his example and take advantage of new technology.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/money/Sacking+made+me+a+millionaire+/-/435440/1191424/-/6b9uioz/-/index.html

Posted in Kenyan Businesses | 2 Comments »

KASS presenter collapses, dies

Posted by Administrator on June 30, 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 30 – A radio presenter working with KASS FM collapsed  and died outside his house in Nairobi’s California estate on Wednesday night, a  few hours after presenting his favourite show.

Philip Rotich  Kosgei, 47 popularly known to his fans as Tamo is reported to have died at about  midnight.

“I relieved him in the studio.  He was my best friend and  colleague at work,” said colleague Kipyego arap Tanui, who is also a neighbour  to the deceased at California estate.

“I arrived home to find a blackout  in our estate.  Kosgei told me he was within the area at the shopping  centre and I knew he would be home later. After a while, I was told by  neighbours that he had been found dead near his house,” Mr Tanui told Capital  News on telephone.

“Blood was oozing from the mouth and no one knows what  exactly happened. The post-mortem will reveal the cause of his death,” he  added.

Mr Kosgei joined the station in 2006 as a comedian and has been  presenting three popular shows including Heshimu Ukuta which airs on week days  between 3pm to 6pm.

“Even yesterday [Wednesday] he was in the studio  presenting his show and I am the one who relieved him,” Mr Tanui said.

Mr  Kosgei who was known to his friends as Tamo also hosted Twolyot, a family  programme which airs on Tuesdays 10pm-midnight and Tigityotab Bambaniat a  programme to hook up couples on Thursdays 10pm -midnight.

“The fellow was  too humorous, and he was fine when I saw him at work yesterday (Wednesday). But  now he has left us,” another colleague added.

Mr Kosgei leaves behind a  widow Margaret and three children.

Capital News sends condolences to his  family, friends and colleagues at KASS FM.

Source:  http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/KASS-presenter-collapses,-dies-13411.html#ixzz1QlNCSUD8

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

Uhuru hits out at tax show offs

Posted by Administrator on June 30, 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance  Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday hit out at leaders whom he accuses of politicising  the constitutional requirement for all Kenyans including Members of Parliament  to pay taxes.

In a statement where he appeared to defend MPs  who do not have the finances to clear their tax arrears, Mr Kenyatta said the  new Constitution had caught the lawmakers mid-stream.

“It is morally  wrong for those who have the ability to comply to make a public spectacle and  paint negatively other Members of Parliament who may be willing to comply but  are unable to immediately do so in a lumpsum payment,” he explained. (Tax  arrears are estimated at Sh2 million for MPs).”

He said tax compliance is  a constitutional issue that goes beyond any individual’s position.

“Over  the past few days, I have received numerous messages both directly and through  my Facebook and Twitter accounts by Kenyans asking me whether or not I have paid  taxes. In this regard, I would like to clearly state the following. Tax  compliance is a constitutional, moral and developmental issue that goes beyond  any one individual’s personal position, notwithstanding the fact that some may  want to make a public declaration of their paying,” he said.

Mr Kenyatta  says millions of Kenyans from all walks of life quietly pay their taxes  regularly as it is an obligation for all Kenyans to do so.

“Payment of  taxes and indeed the fulfilment of several other obligations under this new  Constitution should not degenerate into a political competition but should be  regarded as a moral and civic duty of all Kenyans. As we go through this  transitional process, this is one amongst many hurdles that we as Kenyans will  have to overcome. In the spirit of a new Kenya, let us overcome these hurdles  together, as opposed to against one another,” he said.

The deputy premier  states that there’s nothing special about any one category of Kenyans fulfilling  their civic duties, as the law is very clear on the taxation requirements placed  on all citizens.

“The Constitution is also very clear on the taxation  requirements that have been placed on all citizens including myself. The  consequences of non-compliance are equally well stipulated within our laws.  Ultimately, if there are Kenyans who haven’t fulfilled these obligations, it  will come to light. However, in as much as this debate is healthy for the  country, it should not be conducted on the basis of who has or hasn’t paid but  rather on the principle of the matter itself,” he said.

The statement  comes days after Prime Minister Raila Odinga caused a stir at the Kenya Revenue  Authority’s Times Tower offices on Monday, when he joined the queues to remit  his tax arrears.

The Prime Minister queued with other taxpayers and  filled out the requisite forms to pay Sh3,392,344 owed to the taxman.

Mr  Odinga, who paid arrears based on calculations by the accounts departments in  the Office of the Prime Minister and Parliament, said he did so because it was  required by the Constitution.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka also  announced that he would hand in his payments to the Kenya Revenue Authority on  Thursday afternoon. Other leaders who have so far cleared their arrears include  Assistant Minister Margaret Wanjiru and MPs Gideon Mbuvi (Makadara) and Mutava  Musyimi (Gachoka).

They joined Peter Kenneth (Gatanga) and Kangundo’s  Johnson Muthama who have been remitting their taxes since 2008.

A section  of MPs are however adamant that they will not comply with constitutional  requirement: “I am not running for presidency, so I will not pay,” said one  MP.

Source:  http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/Uhuru-hits-out-at-tax-show-offs-13413.html#ixzz1QlME7arV

Posted in Kenya | 3 Comments »

Aid group: Hundreds of children fleeing drought arrive in Kenya daily

Posted by Administrator on June 30, 2011

Nearly 1,300 people, including children, are arriving daily at the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya.

Nearly 1,300 people, including children, are arriving daily at the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya.

(CNN) — More than 800 Somali children are arriving at crowded refugee camps in Kenya daily after walking for days to escape a prolonged drought, an aid group said this week.

About 10 million people are at risk of starvation as the Horn of Africa region faces the worst drought in 60 years, according to the United Nations.

The drought has left thousands of children in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda malnourished, and millions others in danger, Save the Children said.

Nearly 1,300 people, including children, are arriving daily at the Dadaab refugee camps in northeastern Kenya, according to Save the Children.

“Children have made long journeys in terrifying conditions, often losing their families along the way and arriving at the camps in desperate need of security, health care and a normal life,” said Catherine Fitzgibbon, program director of Save the Children in Kenya.

The influx of refugees in the Dadaab area has worsened conditions in a camp already battling limited resources. Dadaab, which was built for 90,000 people, is home to more than 350,000 refugees.

“Drought has forced children out of school as both human and livestock diseases spread,” the United Nations said in a statement. “Competition for the meager resources is causing tensions among communities.”

Conflict in Somalia is adding to the problem as government forces battle militants in the capital of Mogadishu.

The clashes between the two sides have made it hard for aid groups to access the hardest-hit areas.

“It is essential that we move quickly to break the destructive cycle of drought and hunger that forces farmers to sell their means of production as part of their survival strategy,” said Josette Sheeran, the executive director of the World Food Programme.

Aid groups said the combined problems of drought and conflict have sent food prices skyrocketing.

“In Somalia, if we are not able to respond rapidly and effectively to it, there will be many more lives lost,” said Mark Bowden, a U.N. humanitarian coordinator in the nation.

Food prices have gone up by 270% in some areas since last year, Bowden said.

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/06/30/africa.drought/

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Investors flock to Isiolo as Vision upgrade looms

Posted by Administrator on June 29, 2011

Merti-Isiolo road. Investors are taking positions to gain from the projects planned for Isiolo town under the Vision 2030 development blueprint, with the rehabilitation of the airstrip attracting developers for residential and leisure facilities. File

Merti-Isiolo road. Investors are taking positions to gain from the projects planned for Isiolo town under the Vision 2030 development blueprint, with the rehabilitation of the airstrip attracting developers for residential and leisure facilities. File

Investors are taking positions to gain from the projects planned for Isiolo town under the Vision 2030 development blueprint, with the rehabilitation of the airstrip  attracting developers for residential and leisure facilities.

Vision 2030 board member Peter Gakunu said ample land in Isiolo and Nyambene towns had attracted proposals for establishment of resort centres by private developers.

“As the rehabilitation of the Airport progresses, investors are angling themselves to erect houses and hotels as well as other recreation facilities,” he said.

So intense is the land speculation in the area that within two years a quarter piece of land has jumped from Sh15, 000 to Sh150, 000.

The opening up of the area, which is earmarked to be a resort city in the Las Vegas mould under the Vision 2030, will enhance other sectors such as agriculture, banking, housing and art work. The resort centre will be complete with casinos, international filming facilities and all the trappings of lavish living money can buy. The upgrading work on the airstrip involves expansion of the runway, building of taxiways, aprons, passenger terminus and cargo terminus.

Other amenities include parking areas, a fire station, meteorological centre, hangar, control tower and staff quarters. The airport is expected to be fully operational by March next year. It is being built by Kundan Singh Construction at a cost of Sh610 million.
Vision 2030 has identified Isiolo as a gateway to realising economic fortunes for the arid northern Kenya.

Isiolo is part of the northern tourism circuit and is centrally placed between some major parks, which include Meru National Park, Samburu National Reserve, Shaba Game Reserve, Kora National Park, Mwingi National Reserve and the Bisanadi National reserve.

To the north of Isiolo are the Marsabit National Reserve and Sibiloi National Park.

Currently, the town has very few tourism facilities which include the Sarova Shaba located in the Shaba Game Reserve and Buffalo Springs lodges located in the Samburu National Reserve.

Building of the 501km Isiolo-Moyale highway, which links Kenya to Ethiopia is currently ongoing with 136km from Isiolo to Merelle so far complete. Also in the radar is building of a railway line, pipeline and highway linking Kenya and Juba in Southern Sudan.

Once complete, the airport is expected to link Isiolo town to Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu. It is also expected to decongest Wilson airport by moving the miraa (Khat) trade aircraft to Isiolo.

The 1.4 kilometre runway will handle heavy commercial aircraft with a load weight of up to 66 tonnes.

The government is yet to compensate 400 families that were displaced by the Airstrip rehabilitation project despite making a promise of Sh200 million to them.

Some of the land has fallen prey to speculators, who have subdivided it and sold to unsuspecting investors.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/-/539552/1190886/-/65v57dz/-/index.html

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Iteere: Mwau bodyguards lied to police

Posted by Administrator on June 29, 2011

Police inspect Kilome MP Harun Mwau's bullet riddled vehicle at the Central Police Station. His aides are likely to face a charge of giving false information to police after Commissioner Mathew Iteere recommended their prosecution June 29, 2011. FILEThe aides of Kilome MP Harun Mwau are likely to face a charge of giving false information to police.

This is the recommendation of Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere after investigations into the gun attack on Mr Mwau’s car.

Mr Iteere said it was clear that “the said motor vehicle was not shot at at the said place because there were no empty cartridges at the scene of the purported shooting”.

He also said that the impressions made by the bullets on the body of the MP’s car were “consistent with those made on a stationary vehicle and not a moving one”.

The legislator’s guard and driver had claimed that the vehicle was shot at by unknown gunmen on City Hall Way as they drove to pick up Mr Mwau at the Intercontinental Hotel on Thursday night.

They told the police that a car overtook the MPs’ Range Rover near the Garden Square restaurant and its occupants fired six shots shattering the driver’s side window but they escaped unhurt.

“It is impossible for the occupants of the motor vehicle to have escaped without injuries if at all they were inside the motor vehicle at the time,” said the Police Commissioner.

Mr Iteere told a news conference at Vigilance House, Nairobi Wednesday that the issue rests with the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, who will decide whether to prosecute.

“In view of the above, I have directed that the file be forwarded to the DPP with a recommendation that the two individuals be charged in court for the offence of giving false information,” said Mr Iteere.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Mwau+aides+could+face+false+information+charge/-/1064/1191216/-/v923lg/-/index.html

Posted in Kenya | Comments Off on Iteere: Mwau bodyguards lied to police

 
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